Harlequin Enterprises embraces swift new promo tool

The new web publishing template creates quick and cost-effective solution for promoting books online.

Harlequin Enterprises has found a way to promote more of its books online for less. A new web template, developed by Toronto-based digital agency Quizative, allows for quick publishing of promotional sites for new Harlequin titles in one to two weeks. ‘We knew it was critical to use digital marketing to promote our launches, given our readers are online and demand information in the digital space,’ says Harlequin Enterprises product manager, Amy Jones.

The first site, 113 Things To Do by 13, caters to the female tween crowd and therefore taps social tools, asking girls to rate and review the Brittney MacLeod book, as well as post comments and share feedback with friends. Site content includes info on ‘how to make a mini-movie’ by Debra Martin-Chase, Hollywood’s Queen of Tween, and tips from a Jonas Brother (Joe) on how to write a love letter, plus advice from tween country star Taylor Swift on develop your talent.

The second site for Summer On Blossom Street targets the 30-to-65 female demo, and is less about social tools and bonus content, and more about substance and value. The site promotes the latest novel from New York Times #1 bestselling author Debbie Macomber with a preview of the first chapter, and drives fans to an online book launch promo.

Harlequin’s former model was to pick a limited number of books and create custom one-off websites for each, which also affected marketing timelines. ‘The time to do that and the cost was becoming prohibitive, limiting the number of properties they can market online,’ Adrian Capobianco, president of Quizative, tells MiC.

Harlequin plans to use the templates for 90% of its titles in the coming year and will save $50,000. The system leaves room for title-specific design elements to give each individual site a unique look and feel appropriate to the target.